‘Tropic Lightning’ honors commander

| April 1, 2011 | 4 Comments
Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux (left), commanding general, 25th ID, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens, senior enlisted leader, 25th ID, unveil a memorial photo honoring Gen. Frederick Weyand, former division commander and Army chief of staff, during a ceremony dedicating the division headquarters' conference room as the Gen. Frederick Weyand Conference Room at Camp Liberty, Iraq, March 25. (Sgt. Jesus J. Aranda | 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux (left), commanding general, 25th ID, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens, senior enlisted leader, 25th ID, unveil a memorial photo honoring Gen. Frederick Weyand, former division commander and Army chief of staff, during a ceremony dedicating the division headquarters’ conference room as the Gen. Frederick Weyand Conference Room at Camp Liberty, Iraq, March 25. (Sgt. Jesus J. Aranda | 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

U.S. Division–Center Public Affairs
News Release

 

BAGHDAD — Feb. 10, 2010, was a somber day for many on Oahu, with the passing of a single man who was an active member in his local community, a supporter of many benefits and charities, and an accomplished military leader, husband, father, brother, general, friend and chief of staff of the Army.

When retired Gen. Frederick Weyand passed, the impact was felt worldwide.

In remembrance of the legacy he has left behind for today’s 25th Infantry Division, “Tropic Lightning,” Soldiers, the division’s deployed leaders gathered to witness a rededication ceremony at U.S. Division–Center Headquarters, Camp Liberty, Iraq, Friday.

Photos from Weyand’s command of the 25th ID adorn the walls outside of the new Gen. Frederick Weyand Conference Room in Iraq. (Sgt. Jesus J. Aranda | 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Photos from Weyand’s command of the 25th ID adorn the walls outside of the new Gen. Frederick Weyand Conference Room in Iraq. (Sgt. Jesus J. Aranda | 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commander, 25th ID, encouraged those in attendance to reflect on the contributions and sacrifices heroes, such as Weyand, have made to the U.S. Army and our nation.

“Forty-four years since he commanded the 25th (ID), and his leadership is still an inspiration to those of us serving with the division,” said Col. Bjarne Iverson, chief of staff, 25th ID.

Following his 36-year military career, Weyand volunteered in his local community organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and the Honolulu Rotary Club. Weyand’s character and pride in the military inspired admiration for many of the people who met him.

“Weyand and (the 25th ID) fought an enemy on a battlefield that included more than just land features; the people of Vietnam were also part of the terrain being contested,” said Adam Elia, division historian. “He initiated programs to help civilians within the division’s area, while conducting operations to secure the population and go after the enemy. He understood the importance of knowing the people in his area and making sure they were secure.”

Like Weyand’s leadership, through a campaign of partnership, rebuilding and humanitarian efforts in Vietnam, the nation has called upon the 25th ID to take on a similar campaign in Iraq today.

“He oversaw the drawdown of American troops from the country, while continuing to advise, train and assist local forces,” Elia said. “His experiences and lessons learned directly influenced the way we approach these operations today.”

 

It was because of his wisdom, leadership and vision that the Army has prospered and become the dominant force it is today, according to Iverson.

“He was an architect who helped to design today’s Army,” Iverson said. “He had a vision for the Army, and he planted those seeds to help grow the greatest Army in the world today.”

Champoux believes Weyand deserved the rededication ceremony due to his accomplishments and leadership that built a strong foundation for today’s 25th ID Soldiers and the community.

“He brought this division into combat, and he fought with this division in Vietnam, and I hope we all will take a few minutes today to remember the contributions he has made to the division, his legacy and his family,” Champoux said.

The entrance to the Gen. Weyand Conference Room is adorned with photos of Weyand and his Soldiers serving during the Vietnam era — overseeing the Division Operations Center much in the same way Weyand oversaw the three wars in which he participated.

“Every morning, the leadership of this division start the day, here, in this room,” Champoux said. “Now, every morning, we will be reminded of Gen. Frederick Weyand and what he did for this division.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

Comments (4)

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  1. Lola Leila Keller says:

    Hello Sir, Madam
    Please, what Department should I contact the General Bernard S. Champoux?
    Thank you
    Lola Leila

  2. Lola Leila Keller says:

    Hello Sir, madam
    How can I get in touch with MG Bernard Champoux ?
    Thank you
    Lola Leila

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